Thursday, January 26


Well, I have dragged out from the abyss that is my Spare Sock Drawer (a drawer full of holey, odd and threadbare socks and baggy tights and unsuitable pants For Emergencies Only-we all have one don't we....don't we????) my swimsuit, untouched for years, and laid it out ready for tomorrow. I have bought a miniature swimsuit from the Wriggly one (actually I've bought two as she is sort of between sizes and I didn't fancy the parade of getting a baby to try on a swimming costume in the changing rooms, that hates getting undressed/dressed at the best of times. Also, I don't think the Newcastle is yet ready for my tuneless rendition of Old MacDonald/Wheels on the Bus mash up, which at present is the only way to soothe said screaming not-so-infant) and even found a spare towel. Because tomorrow starts a round of hydrotherapy.

I am a bit nervous.

I suspect the last time anyone saw my legs outside encasing of jeans or woolly tights was probably slightly under two years ago. The last time someone saw me in a swimming costume, god help them, was errrrr quite a bit before that. I did go swimming* as a student and Wriggles has baths on a regular basis, but we are yet to brave the waters together. I am slightly nervous about dropping a slippy baby. I imagine it will make a very poor impression. Last night we had a "trial run" in a very deep bath. Wriggles was quite skittish at first but didn't hate it which bodes well. I am more nervous about catching the correct bus in the morning as we (well, I. It is definitely my fault) are pathologically late for everything, and also getting on said bus as the bus drivers in my area have a vendetta against pushchairs. 

Apart from that, it should be grand. Hydrotherapy is essentially a very warm swimming pool, around body temperature I think, to do exercises in and help decrease muscle tone and increase muscle strength. (Hydrotherapy is also a bit like colonic irrigation-but that is a different kind and one I definitely hope we will not be subjected too) It is said to help with a vast range of ailments and conditions and help build up physical strength. Hopefully also relax slightly stressed mummies! Wriggles has had regular physio since about 32 weeks gestation, still in an incubator in SCBU for Froggyitus**, a common prem condition, and continues to have it as her development is a bit erratic in areas. 

We are very lucky in that our community physio team is very proactive and the two physios we have seen have been utter sanity savers. Not only patient, but also very informative and willing to spend that extra bit of time explaining things and answering all of my pestering questions and deciphering doctor terminology. I like the more holistic approach they take also, rather than "Oh I'll just transfer you to so-and-so....." and they way they are willing to chase up other people!

It was a surprise, mostly pleasant, to be able to access hydrotherapy. They do a Pre-School Program which at just shy of 18 months Wriggles is now eligible for. She shows signs of high muscle tone as well as Chronic Froggyitus and still is not able to bear weight even with support for more than a millisecond. Neither I nor our physio have doubt she will get there, but given there was a place, it was deemed A Good Idea to go for early intervention and try and kickstart some mobility and increase her physical strength, which is lacking in the lower limbs.  It just feels a bit weird to have to go along to these things. We had such a relatively easy ride in SCBU that the aftermath was a rude shock and I still have a surprise every time I am reminded my baby has some delays and slowness in development that either could or could not be significant in some shape or form. Like many other things, you never expect it to happen to you. It hasn't stopped me worrying about the future, but I am grateful for the present, which I think she is doing very well at!

I may craft some medals out of left-over chocolate money to get into the Olympics vibe...

*this is a bit of an exaggeration. The swimming pool near my friend's house did a "Swim Disco" on Friday nights were they stuck on lights, music and a mirror ball and opened up the Sauna. I would do one or two lengths and then me and my friend would stick in the sauna gossiping until our skin felt fried and we escaped to the pub.
**NOT a genuine medical term, but when said prem splays limbs out like a mad frog. Premature babies lack the ability to work against gravity, meaning that they cannot move between the stretching out and curling up positions. This is why positioning is so important, especially in the early days. It recreates positions in the womb, rather than letting the baby lie in a heap which is not very comfortable and will add to muscle tone problems.


  1. I never quite understood all that high tone low tone lark. I know smidge had 'poor tummy tone' always making her belly appear stuck out but actually I think that might be genetic. Great u get input from physio though, I have had to beg for even one appointment and I know in other areas all prems under 28 wks get physio option. Were they good at the positioning in your unit? Did they use nests or rolled up blankets to create nests? In the first unit we were in they used rolled up blankets with Muslin cloth over top to create nests which I think were better than the manufactured ones because it made positioning easier and the large Walls supported the fetal position. Smidge spent months on mainly her tummy due to digestion problems.. She had a beautiful preemie head on account of it! It's so slim line that when she's playing in the hall way I have to check she doesn't squeeze it in-between the bannisters! X

  2. I got really confused about the high/low tone malarky. I think basically if you have either then it's really tricky to stand/sit/crawl/control limbs at all times. MAY be wrong. Actually I think high tone must mean stiff and low tone wibbly as Wriggles gets very stiff legs so get very stuck! I know we're lucky re the physio; we started off having it for a squwiffy neck that she couldn't move one way and then after that was when she started getting ill every other week so quickly lost tons of strength so it carried on, which is good for us now as they've marked her down as being delayed in gross motor skills.
    They were ok-ish at positioning, it seemed to depend on who was about! Despite the fact that Wriggles had not one but THREE laminated posters above her incubator stating how they wanted her positioned, she often wouldn't be changed for hours on end and god forbid the parents try and muck in! Rolled up things are definitely better than "nests". Our NICU had a resident physio who put her foot down about nests in the end and started pointedly leaving enormous piles of towels by the babies she was treating.
    Yes we've got the preemie head too. It doesn't like too silly now she has some hair but if you catch her from one angle it looks like someone has taken a bite out of. You should ask for a nice new set on bannisters as compensation x